Ipswich: submerged but surviving
Metro HotelsJanaury 13, 2011
Ipswich breathed a sigh of relief as the Bremer River peaked below expected levels however a third of the Queensland city is under water.
The peak came just after 4pm yesterday and floodwaters appear to have declined, leaving a mass of debris behind.
Authorities say the peak came in at 19.5m, which was slightly below the 1974 level, and well under the original peak prediction of 22m. The lower than expected flooding meant that at least a further 1000 properties were spared the same fate as the already 3000 houses that currently sit under water.
By late yesterday afternoon, more than 1100 people had registered at evacuation centres throughout the city and authorities were expecting a surge of people to register last night.
Ipswich Mayor, Cr Paul Pisasale advised that 43 streets had been closed due to the flooding, with many of them under more than 6 feet of water.
After days of torrential rain, yesterday dawned with a blue sky, a sign of hope.
General Manager of the Metro Hotel Ipswich International, Mr Alex van Kersen said, “Our hotel is one of the lucky ones and has been spared from the flooding. We have been operating as a base for the media, SES and medical personnel as well as some of the residents who have had to seek refuge from the floods.”
Many of the hotel’s staff have been personally impacted by the floods with a number of them losing their homes and all their personal belongings.
While not affected directly by the flood waters, the hotel has had to deal with a large number of other issues. “We had no power or internet connection for most of yesterday and now we have run out of gas so cooking meals for everyone is going to be challenge,” explained Mr. van Kersen.
As is to be expected, other essential supplies are also getting low, “I had to do an emergency dash to a local fruit and veggie shop in Booval to get some urgent needed fruit and vegetables and other basic essentials and we have hardly any fresh linen left in the hotel” he added.
But there is some good news in sight for the Hotel and those businesses still operating in Ipswich. Mayor Pisasale said it should take 24 to 36 hours for the water to recede from most areas, and he warned people not to rush back into their homes.